assessment (middle childhood generalist) and one subject-area assessment (middle childhood through early adolescent mathematics), for detailed examples and analysis. Our rationale for selecting these two certificate areas is explained in Chapter 5.


The NBPTS is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan, and nongovernmental organization with a staff of approximately 60 located in Arlington, Virginia.1 A 27-member board of directors, of whom 13 are board-certified teachers, oversees its work. During the early years of the board’s work, foundations, corporations, and the federal government provided the bulk of its financial support; applicant fees now cover most of the board’s operating costs.

A major responsibility of the NBPTS is the management and operation of the assessment program through which teachers earn certification. Running this program entails developing and updating standards for the 25 areas in which certification is offered and, with the assistance of the National Board’s contractor, the ETS, developing, administering, and scoring the assessments.

Five standing committees (drawn from the board of directors) assist the board with its work. In addition to committees that oversee finances and other standard responsibilities, the board has an Education Committee that is responsible for identifying education reforms in which the board should involve itself and a Certification Council that develops policies related to areas in which certification is offered, standards, methods of certification, and other issues. Several groups drawn from outside the board’s membership also offer support, including the Assessment Certification Advisory Panel, which advises the board on the technical aspects of its assessment; the Visiting Panel on NBPTS Research; the National Board-Certified Teachers Advisory Group (made up of 12 board-certified teachers), which reviews product plans and development; and the NBPTS President’s Roundtable, a group of philanthropic, business, and community leaders who work to enhance the NBPTS profile.

The NBPTS offers a number of resources and supports for candidates and for board-certified teachers, such as a directory of teachers who have earned board certification and a state-by-state list of financial supports


The NBPTS also employs 11 regional outreach directors who are responsible for building awareness of the program, and it has opened a facility in San Antonio, Texas, to handle customer service, candidate materials, and fee processing. Support is also provided by Candidate Subsidy Program Administrators (not NBPTS employees), who perform a variety of functions related to data collection and the disbursement of federal subsidies at the state level.

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